Evolving Marketing Tools and Techniques by Nikita Khaitan
Understanding the Switch from traditional to digital marketing. Nike as a case study and the role of AI, big data, and metaverse.
Marketing and communication are constantly ever-changing since the onset of the internet in the 1990s to keep up with the fast-paced digitised world. Globalisation and evolving technology has brought in a new era for businesses, digitising the ecosystem and making it imperative for businesses to adapt to new changes, trends and methods of working. Traditional marketing techniques such as billboards, mass adverts, print media and cold calls, relying heavily on mass media channels have been replaced with digital marketing techniques like SEO and social media marketing, allowing specific targeting and a more cost-effective method of reaching a larger intended audience. Digital marketing involves using online platforms to sell products and services to consumers and has revolutionised the marketing sector and the way businesses connect with their target audience. The transformation from traditional marketing to digital marketing is driven by changing consumer behaviour and preferences and the advancements in technology and AI. The digital revolution, started by the internet and the variety of mobile devices has given consumers access to information, services and products at a click of a button, online. Marketers have thus established that a “one-size-fits-all all campaign” will be ineffective in a globalised world where personalised, data-driven approaches are better suited. 4.9 billion people use social media on a regular basis in 2023, making it a global hub and acting as a virtual marketplace for brands to effectively persuade consumers to buy their products through online influencers and video marketing. It is expected to rise to 5.85 billion users by 2027, indicating the need for multi-platform social media marketing. This has also led to an influx of digitised labour producing online content for brands to market their products. Further, artificial intelligence, chatbots and machine learning have enabled businesses to tailor marketing messages on an individual basis and heighten the impact of immersive marketing experiences. This research paper aims to provide an overview of the new age marketing techniques, the use of AI and technology, big data and data mining and futuristic trends such as the Metaverse which will dominate marketing in the future and enable businesses to remain competitive and creative.
Digital marketing has emerged as a game changer, fuelled by the popularity and accessibility of the internet and smartphones. It allows businesses to effectively and precisely target certain demographics based on their preferences, tastes, interests and consumer behaviour by using data-driven insights. This allows the business to create personalised recommendations and advertisements, involving and engaging with the consumer. Moreover, on a general basis, digital marketing proves to be more cost-effective than traditional marketing since businesses can advertise their products for free on many social media platforms. Further, businesses can also strategise on their spending budget to get the maximum output and impact. The availability of such low-cost options makes it a marketing strategy that can be implemented by businesses of all sizes. Due to its presence online, it has a wider and global market reach, connecting to millions in a matter of seconds. Further, digital marketing allows for real-time tracking and monitoring of marketing campaigns and the collection of consumer insights and data.
Social media marketing uses social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, X, and TikTok to promote and market products and services online.Brands can use both paid and unpaid forms of social media marketing to increase online sales and raise awareness. It also encompasses content and video marketing, key digital marketing strategies in the 21st century. The predicted compound annual growth rate for the social media market between 2023-2030 is at 26.2% due to the increasing global adoption of the 5G technology. An average individual spends roughly about 145 minutes on social media daily, highlighting the reach and effectiveness of a successful social media marketing campaign. Brevity and authenticity are key in creating a successful campaign, powered by short-form videos such as Instagram Reels, Tiktoks and YouTube shorts, catching the attention of 66% of viewers since they are usually less than a minute long, following under the general attention span of individuals. Further, these bite-sized videos are highly shareable and engage viewers 2.5 times more than traditional long-format videos. This strategy involves curating content, putting up product-related posts and forming genuine connections, and engaging and understanding your community online. As a part of creating content for social media, video marketing is viewed as the most important digital marketing strategy by 92% of businesses. The average click-through rate (CTR) for all social media platforms in 2022 was 1.21%, which was slightly lower than the CTR of 1.3% in 2021. Despite this minimal reduction, the statistics show that appealing social media marketing campaigns are still necessary to increase and maximize engagement and conversion. Further, with changing times and trends, businesses must be flexible to adapt to and follow new industry marketing trends and are often the first to leverage the power of new technology. Thus, 77% of small businesses use social media worldwide to connect and engage with their audience. Apart from only increasing brand awareness and promoting the product, 41% of small businesses also depend on social media as a revenue driver and booster. Further, a switch in consumer preferences and behaviour has also been observed with 90% of users following at least one brand and more consumers requiring a need for direct and engaged relationships with brands which would in turn boost brand loyalty and build a sense of brand community. Social media has also influenced and changed the face of retail with 76% of users purchasing products as seen on social media.
Email marketing is another such digital marketing tool that plays a key role in the marketing of a product or service by sending targeted emails to a group of recipients. Email marketing for can be a quick, adaptable, and affordable approach to attract new clients and keep hold of current ones by promoting frequent website visits. It's crucial to avoid using email marketing excessively. When marketing communications are irrelevant, excessively frequent, or unwanted, people may become irritated, having an opposite reaction to the intended effect. Email marketing can be transactional, promotional, or lifecycle emails.
It is highly cost-effective since it does not require any significant investment in creating and sending emails and can be sent to a broad audience quickly and efficiently. Further, email marketing allows for segmentation of the target market based on demographic factors, behaviors and preferences allowing personalised and customised marketing. Moreover, email marketing also provides analytics and consumer insights which allows tracking of open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates which measures the effectiveness of the marketing campaign. Further, automated emails such as “abandoned cart” reminders and “welcome” emails running on autopilot would save time and energy. Lastly, deployment is easy and straightforward once the email list is set up. Email marketing return on investment is impressive with $36 on every $1 spent. There are 4 billion daily email users and 33% of marketers send emails every week and 26%, multiple times a month since the average revenue from email marketing is expected to reach $11 billion by the end of 2023 as seen in Appendix A. However, persistent emailing can lead to overcrowded inboxes and potential customers unsubscribing from the mailing service.
Webpage adverts are another form of digital marketing by displaying ads on various websites. These are achieved by advertising and promoting your own website or putting up banner advertisements on other complementary websites. It offers a low-cost alternative to traditional print media ads and persists on the website 24/7 until they are taken down. Advertisements on web pages provide an opportunity to engage with the consumer. To fully engage a potential buyer, the advertisement may use scripting techniques such as selectively presenting relevant details or enabling game-like simulation. Ads on Web pages can at the very least be clicked, which automatically reroutes users to another page with additional information or a purchase option. Significant information can be gained with appropriate scripting. The location can be determined by the Internet Protocol address. Referrer data explains how a visitor arrived at the website, through a search engine, another website, or a URL they typed into their browser window. In rare circumstances, information about a user's computer's operating system, browser, and updates can also be learned. All of this data helps to mirror your customer, which can be utilized to adapt the advertisement to increase the likelihood of a sale. Further, Ad performance metrics or key performance indicators such as the click-through rate ( percentage of users who clicked on the ad), conversion rate ( percentage of users completing a desired action after viewing the ad), Cost per click, and return on investment indicate the effectiveness of the advertisement campaign and integrate AI in the mix. However, tools such as the ad blocking software prevent webpage advertisements and they fail to reach the consumer. Further, ad overload and displaying a high density of ads on one website can distract the consumer and target the wrong market, defeating the purpose of the campaign and reducing its reach and effectiveness.
The compatible 5ps of marketing in the digital ecosystem include Purpose, Pride, Protection, Personalisation, and Partnership. For example, Nike launched its global slogan “Just Do It” in accordance with the conventional 4 Ps of marketing. However, in 2006, it launched Nike + allowing consumers to track their fitness initiatives, involvement, and communicate with others in the realm. In 2017, they introduced the Nike Consumer Experience Strategy and its app connects 100 million of its customers online. It focuses on consumer relevance and behaviour. Nike's 5 Ps include Purpose( improving fitness), Protection ( risk free transactions), Pride ( symbolic appeal to the brand), Partnership ( consumers lives) and personalisation. Further, various campaigns launched by Nike appealed to consumers with a focus on digital marketing. Their campaigns aim to tell and create true stories to engage and connect with loyal customers. Nike ReactLand was created to launch its running shoes, Epic React, and virtually transports users into a video game, creating their 8-bit avatars. This enables consumers to witness their latest sole cushioning technology. Lastly, among others, Nike partnered with BBH Singapore and opened the Nike Unlimited Stadium in Manilla, Phillipines,the worlds first full sized LED Racing Track allowing users to compete with LED avators with the help of the sensors attached to their shoes.
Big Data and Artificial Intelligence have developed with the advancements in technology and play a key role in the digitized marketing ecosystem tracking marketing analytics, data collected, and consumer insights and preferences. Data mining is the process of gathering, analyzing, and processing data to draw conclusions from it. It uses technology to examine enormous datasets, whether automatically, semi-automatically, or even manually, it bases its work on techniques like statistics, database systems, and machine learning. Data mining services assist businesses in analyzing these vast volumes of data and extracting real insights relevant to their line of business. The most effective example of data mining's advantages can be found in activities on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. Individuals of various ages, tastes, and nations interact. Many of them share basic data like genders, ages, and locations. In addition to these, Facebook users nearly exclusively express their opinions, likes, and dislikes on the site helpful for businesses to amend and adapt their practices.
There are primarily 3 main types of Data Analytics: Sales, Inventory, and Customer Analytics. However, sales and customer analytics are integral to the marketing mix.
Sales analytics go beyond how many items are sold or how many customers have joined up for the services. It helps in identifying chances to boost sales and profit margins. Additionally, it also assists in identifying ineffective channels, which improves the ability of the business to choose whether to make changes or stop utilizing the sales channel completely.
In accordance with Appendix B and a report published by McKinsey and Company, companies implementing customer analytics have seen a 23x increase in customers than their competitors. Customer analytics reveals distinct trends among purchases including their actions, behaviours, and locations both before and just after a transaction. Additionally, customer analytics enables the company to determine whether consumers' behavior patterns have changed so that marketing efforts can be adjusted and maintain their efficacy.
Price optimisation using big data and differentiating price methods at the customer-product level are becoming increasingly feasible. According to research by McKinsey and appendix C, standard products typically account for 75% of a company's revenue and only 30% of the hundreds of pricing selections that are made annually result in the lowest price. Pricing provides a tremendous upside potential for increasing profitability, with a 1% price increase translating into an 8.7% gain in operating profits, presuming no volume loss.
Big data is transforming how businesses improve customer responsiveness and consumer insights. According to a Forrester report, 36% of B2C marketers actively use analytics and data mining to acquire deeper insights and develop more relationship-driven strategies, while 44% of them use big data and analytics to increase responsiveness.
The Metaverse is the future of digital marketing. By 2024, the metaverse market is expected to grow over $ 800 billion according to Bloomberg. Metaverse marketing incorporates the use of physical and digital elements, breaking the boundaries in interaction with physical and virtual realities. The Metaverse provides customers with an immersive experience by connecting with them at a personal level. For example, Gucci launched Gucci Garden on Roblox, an immersive visual virtual exhibition taking inspiration from the Gucci Garden in Florence.
Businesses would effectively convey their messages while creating brand loyalty among consumers who frequent their metaverse areas by utilising virtual avatars or dynamic images/videos paired with audio/visual features like 3D animation. Brands are likely to employ 3D spaces as virtual showrooms or to create specialised shopping experiences therein like Samsung, which established virtual stores imitating its real-life shopping environment. Nike bought RTFTK, a virtual sneaker brand and developed NIKELAND within Roblox’s immersive environment. Additionally, businesses can include interactive guided tours around various surroundings that are designed for particular audiences as well as voice assistance in their user experience. Marketers will be able to optimise their campaigns and maximise return on investment despite tight budgets by adding AI into metaverse marketing. Based on user behaviour in real-time analytics, marketers will be able to design highly personalised customer experiences. In order to better advertise goods and services within these virtual worlds and offer a completely new level of interaction, marketing teams could collaborate with gamers, VR influencers, AR art teachers, and other content creators. Gartner predicts that 25% of people will typically spend 1 hour per day on the Metaverse by 2026.
Thus, digital marketing has revolutionised the marketing segment with most businesses switching from traditional to new age marketing techniques such as social media, content, video, email marketing and webpage advertisements because of their global reach, easy use, cost effective nature and easily measurable performance. Technology and the use of artificial intelligence chatbots and big data has made consumer analytics and the collection and analysis of data possible paving the way for other future trends such as the Metaverse.